T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Epiphryne verriculata (Cabbage tree moth)

Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Arthropoda 
Class: Insecta 
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae 
Subfamily: Larentiinae 
Genus: Epiphryne 
Species: E. verriculata
Binomial name: Epiphryne verriculata
Common name: Cabbage Tree Moth

The Cabbage tree moth (Epiphryne verriculata a native, found throughout the range of cabbage trees.  It has a wingspan  when at rest of >40 mm . This moth is a fine example of protective resemblance. The moth always rests lengthwise on the dead leaves of the cabbage tree, so that the brown lines on the insects wings merge with the parallel veins of the leaf., making it perfectly camouflaged against the leaves. Also the ground colour of the moth is light brownish, of similar colour to that of the dead leaf.  
Its caterpillars feed on the young unopened leaves of cabbage tree (Cordyline australis and its cultivars.) Nocturnal feeding activity leaves holes and notches in the expanding leaves.
Caterpillars pupate amongst debris at base of tree trunk..



A male moth with feathery antennae. Wingspan 30 mm.


A female moth with no feathery antennae


Male


Male


The underside of  male moth.


Epiphryne verriculata caterpillars aat leaf base.

Epiphryne verriculata caterpillar on a Cordyline australis cultivar 'Red Sensation'






Caterpillar damage on leaf of Cordyline australis cultivar 'Red Sensation'